Minyak anyin is the Indonesian herbal remedy for just about anything that ails you. The thin oil-like substance is tinted green and comprised of a vast array of natural pharmaceuticals, headed up by eucalyptus, mint and aloe to name a few. It comes in a green marquis-shaped bottle so unbelievably small you'd think it belonged to elves, but a single drop of the stuff works wonders. Minyak can be bought practically anywhere for the equivalent of $3 American, and every family has some on hand.

In a way similar to how Neosporin is often used in my culture, minyak is applied topically to endless possible skin irratations. Any kind of insect bite, be it painful, itching, or simply red, is immediately subdued with a touch of minyak and will disappear within two days. Cuts and scrapes are also treated with minyak; it numbs the pain and helps them heal faster.

Sunburn and direct burns are soothed by gently coating them with a thin layer of the green oil. Even sore muscles are helped by rubbing warm minyak into the skin before massaging the area.

Now, obviously this magic elixir goes above and beyond the healing prowess of our native Neosporin. But, in addition to all of these topical uses, minyak anyin is non-toxic and perfectly edible, making it the anecdote of choice for many internal ailments as well.

For even the sorest throat, a single drop of the stuff aimed at the farthest reaches of the tonsils will not only numb the pain immediately, it will help heal it as well. Got a stomach ache? Many Indonesians mix a few drops of minyak into their tea or hot water to calm the stomach and cleanse the digestive system.

At first I regarded this natural substance and the stories of healing that accompanied it as somewhat ridiculous. It didn't take me long, however, to figure out through personal experience that its reputation is absolutely warranted. I brought two tiny bottles home with me and it is now my personal secret remedy when I or someone close to me falls victim to nearly any sickness or mishap.

Of all the souvenirs and gifts I came home with, I wish I had brought a case of the stuff so as to administer a bottle of minyak anyin to every member of my extended family. You can't find it in any health store or pharmacy I've seen but if you happen to come across some, I recommend you purchase it immediately. I have been back more than a year now and still have tons left because such a small amount is needed. However, I am currently having my homies on the other side of the world send me some more; now that I have witnessed the powers of the minyak, I would never want to be without it!

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